Business owner on the doorstep of Rocky Mountain National Park is investing in chargers for electric cars

The longtime businessman in Estes Park, Jim Sloan, knows of electric motorists’ “range anxiety” after a trip to New Mexico in February when the screen in his Tesla Y flashed “0 miles” and the outdoor temperature was below zero.

He “nursed me nervously” to a fast charging station south of Trinidad.

The owner of National Park Village shopping area near the eastern entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park has installed a fast charging station for electric cars in its company and made room for an additional device. He has also installed two slower charging stations since he bought the place with his daughter in December 2020.

“When we bought the property, we wanted to increase its sustainability, both for us as investors and for my tenants,” said Sloan, who also installs 100 kilowatts of solar energy. “My goal is to accommodate the traveling audience that visits the national park and help overcome their range anxiety.”

The state of Colorado has a goal of getting nearly 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030 to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. State investor-owned utilities and some rural electricity cooperatives are investing in charging equipment.

At the federal level, the Biden administration has a goal that all new vehicles sold by 2030 must be electric.

Sloan worked with IPower Alliance and FreeWire technologies to design and install the charging equipment. FreeWire, whose ultra-fast chargers have a battery built into the system, has installed its equipment in around 15 states, the UK and other countries.

“I care more about these installations than I do about some of the urban installations we have,” FreeWire CEO Arcady Sosinov said of more remote locations such as Estes Park. “You need to create that sense of accessibility for electric drivers. If there’s one place they can’t get to at all, they’re less likely to buy an electric vehicle.”

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